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Neck and Back Injuries After a Car Accident

By: Anapol Weiss

Any part of the body could suffer a serious injury in an auto accident. The gravitational forces exerted on the human body in a car crash can be enough to cause bone breaks, organ damage, muscle injuries and more. Injuries to the neck and back are relatively common in car accidents due to the violent back-and-forth motions of vehicle occupants. Unfortunately, these can be some of the most catastrophic injury types, leading to long-term repercussions such as pain, stiffness, loss of mobility and paralysis. If you have been injured in an accident, speak to a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia today.

Common Neck and Back Injuries

The mechanics of an automobile accident tend to cause certain types of neck and back injuries more than others. Whiplash, for example, is a frequent neck injury involved in auto accidents. Even a low-impact collision could cause whiplash, which is the tearing of the soft tissues in the neck. Any neck or back injury could cause a victim significant pain and suffering, a temporary disability, and lost wages.

  • Whiplash

  • Soft tissue damage

  • Bruising or contusions

  • Muscle sprains and strains

  • Vertebrae fractures

  • Slipped or herniated disks

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Severed spinal cord

  • Paralysis

Go to a hospital after an auto accident in Philadelphia to diagnose a neck or back injury. Get a checkup after a collision even if you are not in pain. The adrenaline from the car accident could make it harder to notice symptoms such as a sore neck or twinge in your back. A professional examination could help you reach a diagnosis and receive prompt treatment. Seeking medical care right away could also help your claim to damages during an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Injuries to the spine can be life-changing for a crash victim. If you or a loved one suffered a crash-related spinal cord injury, your outcome may range from chronic pain to quadriplegia (paralysis in all four limbs and the trunk of the body). Spinal cord injuries are often irreversible, even with treatments such as surgery or rehabilitation. Spine injury claims are generally worth more than more minor neck and back injury claims in Pennsylvania.

Average Neck or Back Injury Settlement in Philadelphia

Car accident settlements are not one-size-fits-all. Each outcome is unique based on the client, the accident and the extent of the injuries. It is difficult, therefore, to determine the average cost of a neck or back settlement. That being said, you may be able to estimate what your claim is worth based on the specifics of your case. Assess the value of each type of damage you suffered to estimate an appropriate settlement.

  • Medical costs. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates the average lifetime cost of a spine injury to be over $5 million for a victim 25 years old with high tetraplegia. Lifetime costs for other back injuries start at over $1 million.

  • Lost wages. The amount of money you lost in missed wages due to taking unpaid medical leave, missing work for doctor’s appointments, or taking a lower-paying job to accommodate your neck or back injury.

  • Pain and suffering. The personal suffering you endured because of your injury, including physical pain, discomfort, limited range of motion, lost enjoyment of life, emotional suffering, grief and mental anguish.

  • Property damages. The full amount of what it cost you to repair or replace any damaged property from the accident, such as a wrecked vehicle after an auto accident.

Neck and back injuries can be catastrophic. In these cases, settlement values can go into the millions. For more minor neck and back injuries, settlements are generally smaller, such as $10,000 to $100,000. The only way to get an accurate portrayal of the value of your injury claim is through a consultation with an attorney. Contact a neck or back Philadelphia personal injury lawyer for information about your specific case.